Get The Most Out of Your Onions from Backyard Eats

Harvesting Onions

When It’s Ready
  • Once onion tops turn yellow, use the back of a rake to bend them over horizontally
  • This stops the sap from flowing to the stems and diverts the plant’s energy into maturing the bulb
  • A day or so later, when the tops turn brown, the bulbs are ready to harvest
How To
  • Pull or dig the bulbs on a sunny day
  • Take care to uproot the plant without damaging the bulb

Growing Onions

Onions have a unique and distinct flavor that can range from sweet to pungent, depending on the type of onion and how it’s prepared. When raw, onions have a sharp and somewhat spicy flavor that can make your eyes water. However, when cooked, their flavor becomes more mellow and sweet. Onions can even be caramelized to bring out their natural sweetness. They make a great addition to salads and sandwiches.

Varieties of Onion:

Mild Yellow ‘Walla Walla’ Onion | Red Onion

Storing Onions

  • Pull or dig the bulbs on a sunny day, and leave them to dry in the sun, from 2-7 days.
  • Lay the tops of one row over the bulbs of another to help prevent sunscald. If rain threatens, cover them.
  • When the outer skins are thoroughly dry, wipe off any soil and remove the tops.
  • Store in a cool, dry place; dried bulbs will keep for about 4 months to 1 year.

Cooking With Onions

  1. Caramelized Onions: Sauté thinly sliced onions in butter or oil over low heat until they turn golden brown and develop a sweet flavor. Caramelized onions are a versatile topping for burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, and more.
  2. Onion Soup: Sauté sliced onions until they are soft and translucent, then simmer them with beef or vegetable broth, herbs, and a splash of wine. Top with melted cheese and toasted bread for a classic and comforting onion soup.
  3. Onion Rings: Dip onion slices in a batter made with flour, milk or buttermilk, and spices. Fry them until golden and crispy for a delicious appetizer or side dish. Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.
  4. Sautéed Onions: Sauté sliced or diced onions in oil or butter until they are golden and caramelized. Sautéed onions can be used as a flavorful addition to various dishes such as stir-fries, pasta sauces, omelets, or sandwiches.
  5. Pickled Onions: Slice onions and pickle them in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, salt, and spices. Let them marinate for a few hours or overnight. Pickled onions add tanginess and crunch to salads, tacos, sandwiches, or as a condiment for burgers and hot dogs.

Want To Learn More?

At Backyard Eats, we’re passionate about helping our clients discover and share the magic of homegrown good. Our Harvest Guides will teach you everything you need to know to harvest, store, and cook with fresh produce right from your own backyard! Our Harvest Toolkit Directory includes a list of all our step-by-step guides. Click below to give them a try!